An Incredible Memorable Multi-Generational Few Days on Safari in Kenya’s Masai Mara – I left with sore cheeks from so, so much laughing
The great wildebeest migration in Kenya takes place every year from around July to October when thousands upon thousands of wildebeest, zebra and other beautiful and graceful plains game migrate from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Masai Mara in Kenya in search of green grass. This natural wonder of the world is a bucket list item for many a traveller and safari connoisseur. However, with the popularity of the migration, the Serengeti and the Masai Mara can become slightly overpopulated therefore has become a bit of a no-no for us Kenyan residents. So you can imagine my trepidation when a very, very dear family friend (and incredible lodge/camp genius) called to invite all of us (yes the Grandparents, the siblings, the ankle-biters .. the whoooole crew 😁 to the Masai Mara to stay in their brand new camp during the migration. After a family discussion, we decided that we couldn’t miss a chance to catch up with old friends and have a special treat…. Even if the Mara would probably be jam packed with game-viewers from around the world.
So we loaded up the car (plus 500 bottles of wine .. for old time sake 😄) and drove to the Mara, the central Mara folks, yes the Musiara bit 🙂 But to our surprise, Caro and Ross had chosen a perfect spot for their camp, nestled in a quiet spot in the Mara Triangle (yes there is a quiet spot in here) with the banks of the Mara River to one side of the camp and the Musiara plains stretching out in front of the camp, the perfect location for everything you could ever want, whether you want to join in with the migration shenanigans, watch graceful elephants sauntering past your tent, watch galumphing hippos in the river or the most spectacular birdlife above your heads, this is where you want to be.
The camp itself is a ‘mobile luxury tented camp’. Now, you are probably imagining some sort of simple campsite with a few gaudy dome tents, a sagging awning and some smelly loos, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The canvas bedroom tents are all generously sized with a beautiful verandah overlooking the Mara river, the beds are dressed in the finest of linens, the mattresses, the pillows…. All so, so, so, so, so, so comfortable (I don’t remember sleeping so well on safari, ever ☺️) and en-suite bathrooms complete with flushing loos and piping-hot showers on demand. The whole camp is beautifully furnished with handmade furniture, soft cottons, family heirlooms, 24-hour solar power is provided throughout the camp and limited wifi in the mess area (perfect for limiting the dreaded screen time!!). The camp provides all the essentials you would need to be comfortable whilst on safari, though this is a luxury mobile camp so every ‘essential’ has been beautifully elevated to a luxury standard. There are three mess areas surrounding a beautiful campfire overlooking ‘miles and miles of Africa’, one is a ‘work’ area, another is decked out in comfy sofas and chairs, fully stocked with books, board games, card games and interesting historical items and the third mess area doubles as a dining room for when it rains (though we mostly ate al fresco on the banks of the Mara river during our stay). Everything is just so simple yet so beautiful and comfortable.
We were hosted by Caro and Ross, whom I have known for many years, back when we were littlies, only wearing swimming pants, in braces, eating flying ants and learning how to waterski. Caro’s Mum, Sue (the owner of Sirikoi and my first ever boss) joined us. Both Caro and Ross come from a long family legacies in safari and conservation, as well as owning/running Samatian Island Camp on Lake Baringo they also own/manage this Mobile Expedition Camp. They are simply amazing, they manage their camps in a completely effortless way as though they’re having a wonderful safari with you. The food and drinks they produce are of the very highest standards. They are such incredible company along with the wonderful and fascinatingly interesting Sue (Oh we laughed and laughed, we remembered hilarious, embarrassing, sad, emotional, life-changing times, we planned new futures and oh we drank wine .. oh we did, we did 😁, they are so damn knowledgeable and they themselves take you on incredible game drives, they were fabulous with the kids, encouraging them to have the most fun possible on safari. I would have loved to spend another week just absorbing all the knowledge they have, but no more wine please 🙂 and thank you.
Now to the real reason one would come to the Mara, the game drives. We had some spectacular wildlife encounters, from huge herds of Eland to a pride of lions on a kill with a tiny little mischievous cub, we had an over-friendly incident with a Martial eagle (one of the largest eagles in the world with an 8.5ft wingspan, usually incredibly timid around humans) who just came and hung out with us, in fact, we started to get concerned that maybe he was sick so we called Stratton at www.kenyabirdofpreytrust.org who assured us that he wasn’t sick just incredibly friendly to humans, lucky us! We also saw a herd of Elephants swimming across the river which I’m sure I haven’t seen before. Essentially we saw fabulous wildlife whilst choosing to keep away from the hustle and bustle of the migration hullabaloo, which made all the wildlife that we saw so much more memorable. In three nights we may have seen three or four other vehicles, this is unheard of during the migration season.
Now one thing that I would love to mention here is that my children had a blast, normally when we go to the Mara, we always try to find a lodge or camp with a swimming pool in order to entertain them. This is mostly due to the dreaded “I’m BORED” (the child equivalent to the worst four-letter word) that is always uttered regardless of whether you are in the most luxurious place or at home. At Mobile Expedition Camp we didn’t have a pool, instead, the camp has the most amazing collection of games and toys, so amazing in fact that the B word wasn’t uttered at all, not once …. in 4 days .. not at all!! The children spent their time in camp playing football, doing archery and playing all sorts of board games. So, I would have to say that this Mara experience is very child friendly and should be heavily considered if you are thinking of going on a family safari and want to remain in a private camp .. and actually spend time as a family.
We spent three wonderful days with Ross, Caro and Sue, laughing, eating amazing food, drinking far too much wine and just having the best time enjoying an incredible Mara experience. This is something that I think we all need to do at least once in our lives, or in our case, once a year.
To Book Any Of The Above – An adventure (safari &/or beach) whilst staying in small, off-the-beaten-track lodges, camps, or villas throughout Africa, contact this enormously knowledgeable team that will offer you 100% personalized safari planning … Email Chania.
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